Friday, January 21, 2011


With preseason training set to begin next week, Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced today the signing of Canadian-born defender Alain Rochat to the club's Major League Soccer roster - pending his international transfer certificate. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Full-Time producer Corey Basso caught up with Alain Rochat to discuss the new signing. Listen here. Corey also managed to get a few words from coach Teitur Thordarsson on how Alain will fit into the Whitecaps' system. Listen here.

"We're delighted to add Alain to our MLS squad," said Whitecaps FC head coach Teitur Thordarson. "He brings a wealth of experience and has won titles in a top-flight European league and has played in prestigious European club competitions like the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup."

Initially acquired from FC Zürich by Whitecaps FC during the 2010 USSF D-2 Pro League season on August 17, the 27-year-old spent the remainder of last year on loan at the Swiss Super League outfit. The 6-foot, 170-pound defender - who can play left fullback as well as centre back - started all 14 appearances during his loan spell with FC Zürich.

"I'm excited by this new challenge to play in North America and in Major League Soccer,” said Rochat. “Vancouver is a beautiful city, and Whitecaps FC have been very welcoming to me and my family, since I made the decision to first sign with the club last summer."

The native of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, first joined FC Zürich on loan during the 2006-07 season from Stade Rennais FC of France’s Ligue 1 before making his move permanent the following season. In four-and-a-half seasons with FC Zürich, Rochat made 154 appearances, scoring nine goals, and recording 10 assists. During this time, Rochat helped FC Zürich to Swiss Super League championship titles during the 2006-07 and 2008-09 campaigns. In the 2009-10 season, Rochat helped FC Zürich reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, where they faced Spanish giants Real Madrid, Italian powerhouse AC Milan, and France's Olympique de Marseille in Group C.

Prior to his recent spell with FC Zürich, Rochat joined Stade Rennais FC at the start of the 2005-06 French Ligue 1 season and appeared in 11 matches for the Brittany-based club. From 2001 to 2005, the defender played four seasons with Switzerland's Berner Sport Club (BSC) Young Boys. Rochat started his professional career in 1999 with Yverdon Sport FC, who were then members of the Swiss Super League.

Rochat, who moved from Canada to Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, when he was two, appeared for Switzerland at the youth international level before making his senior international debut on June 4, 2005, as Switzerland claimed a 3-1 away victory over the Faroe Islands in Group Four of European qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

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